Poly-rhythmic Knob Twiddling

Poly-rhythms are based on drum rudiments. A drummer plays a rhythm with one hand or foot while playing another rhythm with the other hand or foot. I wondered what it would sound like if this discipline was also be applied to the art of manipulating effects. The knob rotation patterns can have four basic starting points.  The pattern can start with both knobs set to the left, to the right, pointing toward each other or away from each other. The following rudiment is referred to as a paradiddle. It has four basic rotation patterns.

Four rotation patterns applied to a paradiddle.

This playing technique is still a work in progress. It really has not found a home yet in a specially designed instrument. Below are some examples of how this technique can be applied.

The effects used for the demo clip below, Dance of the Knobs were a wha peddle, volume pedal, jet phaser, pitch shift and ring modulator, all manually controlled . The sound source was a repeated melody played on a Moog.  Various rhythms and melodies were played manually over top with the pitch shift and other effects.  

Dance of the Knobs, 2003

For the following clips the Polyrhythmic Knob Twiddling technique was used with a combination balloons and effects. A piezo contact mic was attached to balloons which were rhythmically rubbed with one hand while being manipulated through effects with the other hand.

S&T 1, 2006
S&T 2, 2006
S&T 3, 2006